by George Loveridge | 5,0 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 5 Minutes

Why the Metronome is Important: Practising to a click  ·  Source: Gearnews

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These days, we associate TikTok with the social media platform. For us musicians though, the click of a metronome is a vital tool that we can all benefit from. Whether you’re just starting or recording your next album, let’s look at why the metronome is important. 

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Why the Metronome is Important: Practising to a click

Musicians have had the metronome at their disposal since 1815! So why don’t we all use one? Drummers, pianists and guitarists can all benefit from using one. Anyone can! To understand why the metronome is important, we need to look at how and where to use one.

How does it work?

Your traditional, physical, metronome is usually wooden. With an adjustable weight on the end of an inverted pendulum. These elements help to control varying tempos. The term tempo refers to the speed of music, and we show this in beats-per-minute, bpm. Different speeds have different titles and groupings. For example:

  • Grave = Slow (20-40bpm)
  • Moderato = Moderate (108-120bpm)
  • Presto = Very fast (168-200bpm)

The lower the number, the slower the piece of music. Similarly, the metronome uses these principles. Usually in a 4/4 time signature, a metronome will make four audible clicks at your desired tempo. If you increase the bpm, the rate of clicks will increase accordingly. But how do we use one?

Practising With a Metronome

A metronome encourages rhythmic discipline. Are you struggling with your chord changes? Are you racing ahead? The metronome should be your go-to piece of gear. A click track will undoubtedly help you progress.

If you’re looking for a precise way to master chord progressions and cool beats, the metronome will help keep you in time by playing a click on every beat. Listen out for each click, you can do this by counting ‘one, two, three, four‘ repeatedly.

Now, with your instrument, you want to start playing the piece of music that you’re struggling with. However, it is important that you start from beat one. This way, you ensure that you are in time from the beginning and that you’re working with the metronome.

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Why the metronome is important

Traditional Metronome · Source: Thomann

Playing Live

Now that you’ve practiced with a metronome, it’s not uncommon to use one on stage. Did you know that most in-ear monitors will provide musicians with a click track?

If you’re familiar with that click, click, click, click sound, then you’ll be fine to use a click track playing live. We’ve all been there at gigs, struggling to hear our band mates, it can be frustrating and embarrassing. Therefore, using a click track will help you to stay on track with the rest of the band or the backing track that you’re using.

Even if the drummer just has a virtual metronome at the desired tempo, they’ll be more likely to stay in time. Thus, keeping everyone else on the right path.

Recording

If you find yourself using Garage Band or in a pro studio, you want to ensure you’re time no matter what! There’s nothing worse than endless retakes because your solo was just out, or that fill was too early.

Most recording software programs will have a built-in metronome that you can use to your advantage. Simply set it to the required speed and get recording! This way, you’ll always hear where you need to be.

Moreover, if you’re using a MIDI keyboard, you will be able to quantize what you’ve just recorded. This piece of editorial magic will slot your synth part into your time signature with the press of a button. Provided you’ve used that click track to record with initially.

Types of Metronome

As we’ve already spoken about, metronomes traditionally started out as physical pieces of musical equipment. As time and technology have moved on, however, there are other ways of staying in time.

Who doesn’t love a quick Google? Simply punch ‘metronome’ into your Google search box, and you’ll be presented with a digital metronome instantly! Feel free to adjust the tempo effortlessly.

Why the Metronome is Important

Google Search : Why the Metronome is Important · Source: Gearnews

Furthermore, there are bunches of websites and apps that offer you varying levels of metronomes. Unfortunately, the Google search metronome only allows for a 4/4 click. However, if you search around, you will find others with impressive capabilities. Here are just a few ways you can access perfect timings:

Drum machines are also a renowned way to stay in time. Essentially doing the same as the metronome, you get to play along with an actual drum beat. An iconic drum machine is the Alesis SR16. Featuring tempo adjustments from 20-255bpm across 233 drum beats. Why not take a look?

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Alesis SR16
Alesis SR16
Customer rating:
(244)

Thoughts

Overall, the metronome is something all musicians can benefit from. If you’re just wanting to lay down your first few chords and want to get some serious practice in, the metronome will keep you on track. Also, if you’re in the studio laying down some beats for the next EP, using that click track will keep you in time and will save you those retakes.

Check out some of these other metronomes, all worthy additions to your existing gear collection:

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Wittner Metronome 813M with Bell
Wittner Metronome 813M with Bell
Customer rating:
(49)
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Korg TM-60 BK Black
Korg TM-60 BK Black
Customer rating:
(164)
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Harley Benton DNAfx GiT
Harley Benton DNAfx GiT
Customer rating:
(373)

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